Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint


Esta entrada es bilingüe; para ver la versión española desplazarse hacia abajo

Piatkus, 2009. (2008). 298 pages. ISBN: 978-0-7499-2975-6.

A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder is the first instalment in a series featuring Inspector Singh. On this occasion, the Singapore authorities had sent him to Kuala Lumpur.“Singh knew he would not be on the case if he was not the unofficial ‘most likely to be forced into early retirement’ entry in the Singapore police yearbook.” “Inspector Singh was quite convinced there was absolutely no possibility of successful resolution to the case he has just been handed.”

Chelsea Liew, a famous Singaporean model, is accused of murdering her ex-husband. She had married Alan Lee, a wealthy Malaysian play boy, and had lived in Kuala Lumpur for the last twenty years. They had three children who held Malaysian passports. But she is Singaporean. The Malaysian authorities are convinced that Liew is guilty, she has strong motives. Lee abused her for years and was trying to take her children away from her. “As a rule the arrest of a Singaporean by any foreign country would not have involved the Singapore police.” “But this case is different though. The religious overtones, custody battles, public outcry in both countries and political sensitivities between Malaysia and Singapore had resulted in a request by the Singapore government – keen to be doing something – to the Malaysian government – keen to be seen above the fry – that a Singaporean policeman be seconded to the investigation.”

This is a most peculiar detective fiction, a light but pleasant book. It is also very entertaining and easy to read. It has an interesting and well drawn main character. The secondary characters are, sometimes, somewhat stereotyped though. But in addition Shamini Flint offers some insights to the racial and religious tensions in the area and she is also able to keep the reader hooked until the end. I’m looking forward to read the rest of the books in the series.

Shamini Flint lives in Singapore with her husband and two children. She began her career in law in Malaysia and also worked at an international law firm in Singapore. She travelled extensively around Asia for her work, before resigning to be a stay-at-home mum, writer, part-time lecturer and environmental activist.

Shamini writes children’s books with cultural and environmental themes including Jungle Blues and Turtle takes a Trip and the ‘Sasha’ series, which are mainly focused on Asia. She also writes crime fiction, the first four books are Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder, Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul, Inspector Singh Investigates: The Singapore School of Villainy and Inspector Singh Investigates: A Deadly Cambodian Crime Spree.

Little Brown

Shamini Flint’s website

Crime Watch 9mm: An Interview with Shamini Flint

Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder has been reviewed at The Bookbag, Crime Scraps, PetronaMysteries in Paradise, Reviewing the evidence,

This is my first entry on Asia for the 2011 Global Reading Challenge hosted by Dorte at DJ’s krimiblog.

El inspector Singh investiga: Un asesianto en Malasia muy peculiar por Shamini Flint

Un asesinato en Malasia muy peculiar es la primera entrega de una serie protagonizada por el Inspector Singh. En esta ocasión, las autoridades de Singapur le han enviado a Kuala Lumpur. Singh sabía que no se ocuparía del caso si él no hubiera sido de forma no oficial el policía con ‘más probabilidades de ser obligado a aceptar una jubilación anticipada’ según la entrada del anuario de la policía de Singapur.El Inspector Singh estaba convencido de que no tenía absolutamente ninguna posibilidad de resolver con éxito al caso que le acababan de asignar.

Chelsea Liew, una famosa modelo de Singapur, ha sido acusada de asesinar a su ex-marido. Se había casado con Alan Lee, un rico play-boy de Malasia, y había vivido en Kuala Lumpur durante los últimos veinte años. Tuvieron tres hijos que tienen pasaportes malasios. Pero ella es ciudadana de Singapur. Las autoridades malasias están convencidas de que Liew es culpable, tiene motivos poderosos. Lee abusó de ella durante años y estaba tratando de arrebatarle la custodia de sus hijos. Por regla general, la detención de un singapurense en un país extranjero no habría implicado a la policía de Singapur. Pero este caso es diferente. Las connotaciones religiosas, la batalla por la custodia, la protesta pública en ambos países y las sensibilidades políticas entre Malasia y Singapur habían dado lugar a una solicitud del gobierno de Singapur – dispuestos a hacer algo – al gobierno de Malasia – dispuestos a quedar al margen – para que un policía de Singapur formara parte de la investigación.

Se trata de una novela de detectives de lo más peculiar, un libro ligero pero agradable. Resulta muy entretenido y fácil de leer. Cuenta con un personaje principal interesante y bien elaborado. Los personajes secundarios resultan, en ocasiones, un tanto estereotipados quizas. Pero además Shamini Flint nos ofrece algunas claves sobre las tensiones raciales y religiosas en la zona y es capaz de mantener al lector enganchado hasta el final. Tengo muchas ganas de leer el resto de los libros de esta serie.

Shamini Flint vive en Singapur con su esposo y sus dos hijos. Comenzó su carrera de Derecho en Malasia y también trabajó en un bufete de abogados internacional en Singapur. Viajó extensamente por Asia, por motivos profesionales, antes de renunciar para dedicarse a ser madre, cuidar la casa, escribir, ser profesora a tiempo parcial y activista medio ambiental.

Shamini escribe libros infantiles sobre temas culturales y medio ambientales. También escribe novelas policíacas. Sus cuatro primeros libros son: Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder, Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul, Inspector Singh Investigates: The Singapore School of Villainy and Inspector Singh Investigates: A Deadly Cambodian Crime Spree. Lamentablemente todavía no están disponibles en castellano.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint

  1. José Ignacio – Thanks for this fine review. One of the things I like about the Inspector Singh stories is the real sense of place and culture they offer. There is, as you say, some stereotyping, but Flint gives the reader a solid sense of place. And as you say, the story is interesting and engaging.

  2. I’m glad you liked this one, Jose Ignacio. It was not as light or “cosy” as I thought it was going to be before I started it. I was more taken by the character of the woman and her children than I was by the detective, though, which is perhaps why I’ve never managed to summon up the impetus to read more in the series. (Also I think moving from country to country each time is a bit of a gimmick.) But, I enjoyed this novel, and thanks for the link to my review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s